Amazon Sellers have a unique opportunity to make huge sales during the holiday season on Amazon. According to the Annual Salesforce Shopper First Retailing Report, Cyber Week, which runs from Tuesday before Thanksgiving through Monday, will account for 40% of all ecommerce sales during the holidays.
The report predicts that Black Friday will be the most popular digital shopping day of this season with 10 percent revenue. Cyber Monday will follow with 8 percent.
Amazon.com is likely to be the hub of most holiday sales. GHB Insights estimates that Amazon accounted for between 45 and 50 percent of all ecommerce sales on Black Friday 2017. Optimizing your Amazon channel is key to grabbing a slice of the holiday pie.
1. Run seasonal marketing.
Research has shown that emotions can have a significant impact on buying decisions. According to The Nielsen Company, ads that evoked the most emotion resulted in a 23 percent increase in sales. Your holiday spirit will help you build trust with your customers and make your brand memorable.
Seasonal graphics can be added to your listing images. If you’re selling a coffee cup, include a picture of the mug sitting on the hearth with milk and cookies. To convince shoppers to buy, use holiday-themed images.
To inspire shoppers and strengthen customer relationships, suggest seasonal uses of your products in the titles and bullet points. This will help you increase your organic visibility.
A+ Detail pages, enhanced brand content and A+ Detail pages are essential for mobile. They also make it easy to create gift guides. To retain the interest of indecisive or uncertain shoppers, promote your other product lines using suggestive phrases such as “great gifts to dads”.
For gift ideas, many consumers look to Instagram and blogs. It is a great way to reach large and targeted audiences and create hype for your Cyber Monday and Black Friday deals by partnering with influencers.
2. Analyze search data and identify trending products.
Your strengths are your strengths. The Pareto principle, also known as “80/20 rule” in e-commerce, states that 20% of your sales are generated by your products. This means that you will make 80 percent of your profits from e-commerce. Identify the top-performing products and then invest your resources in optimizing them.
SEO optimization is important all year, but it is most effective during peak shopping periods. To build traction ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, update your back-end keywords and listings with seasonal terms.
For Cyber Week and the holiday season, update your CPC campaign bids and search terms. It is important to maintain your CPC campaigns on a regular basis, but holiday sales events might require daily updates.
You can also handle customer service by reviewing and responding to any questions you have about your listings. This will ensure that shoppers are armed with the right information for big shopping days.
3. Offer incentives and communicate them clearly.
Holiday promotions are a hot topic. Shoppers expect the best deals of the year during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Brands compete fiercely for a spot in the shopping cart. Clear messaging is key to ensuring that Amazon shoppers are aware of your promotions.
Your deals should be prominent and clearly displayed. Amazon shoppers come to Amazon expecting holiday deals. Be clear and concise. Descriptions should include the following: “What are the product’s distinguishing features and what is the deal?”
Amazon Lightning Deals, Deals of the Day and Deals of the Day have countdown timers that let customers know how long they have to complete the deal. These promotions create an urgency especially in large, competitive shopping events like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The best deals last for two weeks so there is no urgency. However, the discounts will still be enough to attract shoppers when they start looking for holiday sales.
You must have enough inventory to run your deals. You can lose sales if you run out of inventory before the deal is over.
Coupons are another great way to encourage your products. Coupon codes can drive sales and residual traction, so purchases tend to rise while they are in use.
Promoting your deals outside of Amazon can help you get ahead of the rest. Social media can be used to promote your deals before the competition. This will help you build awareness and ensure that shoppers are familiar with your products when they visit Amazon.
4. Optimize for mobile.
Salesforce predicts that mobile will account for 68 percent of all ecommerce traffic this season. This is a growth rate of 19% year-over-year. Amazon’s mobile platform is already an efficient machine with fast load times and intuitive controls. There are still a few things you can do to optimize your listings so that mobile shoppers find them.
Mobile devices view titles, bullet points, and product descriptions in a previewed format. This means you have less room to grab shoppers’ attention. Therefore, you should place your most important features or keywords at the beginning of the title, bullet point, and description. This is a good idea in general but it’s crucial for mobile.
A+ Detail pages, enhanced brand content and bullet points are not reduced when viewed on mobile. The A+ and EBC images, copy and copy are displayed in full before the product description. This doubles the amount of space that you have to educate or persuade customers.
5. Run tests and collect data for the future.
It is never too late to begin preparing for your next major sales event. Once you have spent the past weeks or months prepping, it’s time to actually collect data. Finish any remaining tests before the weekend and conduct tests specifically designed for Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Data-driven strategies are the foundation of any successful market strategy. Take this opportunity to position your brand for future growth.
You can run A/B testing of your sponsored brand ads (previously known as “headline searches ads”) and you should be ready to deactivate the less efficient variants when there is a clear winner. What patterns can you see in the data? What words, emotions, and formats were converted?
Which types of deals were the most successful? Are Lightning Deals and coupons more successful? You can learn from them and apply the lessons to other situations.
To identify which queries are driving traffic to your listings and ads, generate search term reports. You can then use the results to create new search terms for your CPC campaigns. High holiday shopping season traffic means more searches for your product. This data can be used to refine your Amazon ad campaigns.
6. Understand and comply with fulfillment guidelines.
Non-compliant packaging can cause your products to be ruined and reduce sales. Avoid losing profits in peak seasons due to a lack of compliance.
Your distribution team should adhere to Amazon’s shipping guidelines and packaging requirements so your shipments are complete and delivered on time.
Make sure you have enough shipping materials on hand and that your staff is capable of processing your shipment quickly and efficiently.
7. MAP it out.
A Minimum Advertising Price Policy (MAP) helps protect your brand’s image and ensures that official retailers are able to charge you a fair price. To ensure that your MAP policy is compliant with federal and state laws, you can have it reviewed by your legal counsel. After reviewing your policy, you can share it with your authorized sellers.
To determine your starting price and flexibility, you need to understand your limitations and compare your prices with others. Your pricing should be competitive but not compromise your brand’s value.
Retail arbitrage is one of the biggest challenges in enforcing MAP. Retail arbitrage occurs when individuals buy discounted products in brick-and-mortar shops and then resell them online. Limit your sellers and allow sellers who are unable to sell your product to buy back your product.
8. Minimize your risk with distributors and sellers.
With the increase in Q4 sales comes increased risk for trademark and copyright infringements as well as counterfeit products and scams. These violations could reduce your Q4 profits as well as your brand integrity over the long-term. You should monitor who is selling your products, and how much. To uphold your policies, you should work with trusted sellers and distributors. Distributors who sell your product to anyone and everyone can expose you to unauthorized and rogue sellers.
The holiday season is a time when scam sellers increase. These ne’er do-wells profit from seasonal shoppers by selling products, but never shipping to customers. Scam sellers are usually identified by low customer reviews, suspicious seller names, large inventories, or lack of shipping information. It is best to only work with trusted retailers to combat scam sellers.
Amazon’s Brand Registry program speeds up the reporting and prosecution of counterfeiters, rogue sellers and trademark infringements. According to Amazon, enrolled brands are reporting 99 percent less suspected infringements than they were before the launch of Brand Registry.
Amazon Transparency allows brands to track items by item. Amazon stores place a Transparency code on product packaging so that consumers can scan it to verify authenticity.
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